back to article US federal boffins insist that mermaids DON'T exist

The US's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been obliged to issue a statement clarifying that "no evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found", in the face of a tidal wave of citizens calling to demand the truth about mermaids. The Roswell-style conspiracy theory kicked off after Animal Planet …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Land of the free...

    ...home of the barking mad.

    1. wowfood

      Re: Land of the free...

      IKR, I mean how can those scientists say mermaids dont' exist? Madness!

      1. Joefish

        Re: Land of the free...

        Next they'll be telling us that hermit crabs don't sing calypso!

        (or even get their songs covered in a masterstroke of musical genius by Shaggy)...

      2. Tom 35

        Re: Land of the free...

        Next they will say there is no god.

    2. sisk

      Re: Land of the free...

      Not mad. We have a whole shedload of morons here who believe everything that looks like it might be non-fiction. Hence the whole controversy of DaVinci Code while Brown facepalmed with an exasperated exclaimation of "It's FICTION people". Or the outcry after Fox aired that 'alien autopsy' show back in the 90s. Or the need for a government agency to announce that mermaids don't exist, no doubt after much shaking of heads in disbelief.

    3. GT66

      Re: Land of the free...

      We put our crazy in the water. That and the pervasive belief that our governing bodies are all lying, cheating scum. Mix it together in the land where "anything is possible," and you have a situation where anything is believable.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The truth about MERMAIDS:

    It was a terrible film.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: The truth about MERMAIDS:

      Reminds me of a very similar program a while ago (Same studio?) about dragons, presenting the fictional-but-blured story of a discovery of a dragon corpse and 'scientific' explanations of how such a creature could evolve and function. I blame the Da Vinci Code: That book showed that blending truth and fiction together to the point they are hard to distinguish can make for a very popular and profitable work.

    2. Thomas 4
      IT Angle

      Re: The truth about MERMAIDS:

      The truth is mermaids are not found in American waters but instead near Japan. A witness to a battle between Cthulhu and the Amazonian Mermaids gave Japan its flourishing tentacle porn industry.

      True story.

      1. Tom 35

        Re: The truth about MERMAIDS:

        Where do that cat girls come in? Don't go telling me they are not real!

  3. JimmyPage

    Reminds me of a Yes Minister line

    "How do you know it's not true ?"

    "It's not been officially denied yet"

  4. Graham Bartlett

    Looking in the wrong place

    Try Dunwich, Massachusetts.

    1. sandman

      Re: Looking in the wrong place

      Dagon will rise again!

      1. BoldMan

        Re: Looking in the wrong place

        Its beginning to look a lot like Fishmen...

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. BoldMan

      Re: Looking in the wrong place

      I think you mean Innsmouth...

  5. Joefish

    Damn. And I was hoping they'd answer the age-old problem - how do you actually

    reconcile the half-fish explanation with the lateral fluke and vertical tail movement typical of a cetacean, rather than the vertical fluke and lateral motion of common fish species.

    Oh, you were thinking of that other problem? Sorry...

    1. Crisp
      Paris Hilton

      Re: The Other Problem

      How do mermaids have sex?

      Paris, because there's no "Where's the Daryl Hannah angle?" icon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Other Problem

        "How do mermaids have sex?"

        Well if Joefish is right and they are half cetacean, then it could be something to do with blowholes. Which is even more Paris.

        1. frank ly

          Re: The Other Problem - It's obvious

          In a Futurama episode (not well remembered), Fry's new mermaid wife said...

          "I suppose I deposit my eggs under the pillow, then you squirt your sperm onto them, then we wait for our babies to hatch."

          1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

            Re: The Other Problem - It's obvious

            I'm more reminded of the Family Guy scene where Lois is rescued by a merman, and he wants something in return:

      2. NomNomNom

        well you did ask

        The mermaid secretes a fine mucus containing millions of small eggs into the water. The eggs are ingested by a host, in this case human, and hatch within the gut into billions of small worm like creatures. If the host is male the worms slowly, over many years, consume the host from the inside until all is left is a writhing corpse. If on the other-hand the host is female the miracle of life continues as the worms travel into the womb. Any existing host fetus is consumed. The worms then bind to the womb and hijack the fertilization process of the host, injecting their own genetic material into the process. Any fetus developing in the host's womb will now have "three parents". It takes 4-6 months for the chimera fetus to grow into an infant mermaid, a hybrid of mermaid and host parents, at which point it sits in wait for the host to come into proximity with water. Once that happens the female host will give spontaneous birth to a slimy eel-like creature. The infant's instinct is to flee to deep water. Over subsequent years the infant will grow and features and characteristics of the host will emerge. In the case of a human host the resulting mermaid will appear half-human. The reason why most mermaids are typically human female is because the fertilization hijacking process breaks the typical 50/50 male/female stat and instead biases for 95/5 female/male.

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: Damn. And I was hoping they'd answer the age-old problem - how do you actually

      The only time witnesses would get a good look at the tail is when the mermaid is on land (It may be assumed they frequently rest upon shore or exposed rocks, perhaps to interact with humans or escape sharks). On land the mermaid would have to twist her (do they even come in male gender? Maybe they breed via amazonian reproduction, thus explaining why they need to seduce human men) body around ninety degrees to lay her tail flat, to prevent uneven stress from damaging the delicate fin. This slightly-uncomfortable position would present anyone watching with the illusion of a horizontal tail, rather than the vertical shape it would take when in water.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "typical of a cetacean"

      Cos taxonomy wasn't exactly a science back in the day? Clearly they're half cetacean. Not much call for mammary glands on fish, and they don't seem to have any exclusively fishy characteristics. It also explains the whole mermaid sex thing (hint: dolphins do it intromissively, too).

      1. Thomas 4

        Re: "typical of a cetacean"


        A few moments thought would suggest that given the upper half of a mermaid is mammalian (often abundantly so), it makes sense that the lower half should share mammalian traits as well. So instead of all that nonsense of squirting a cloud of eggs out, the lower half of a mermaid would share traits with a whale or possibly a shark.

        So what I'm saying is that you still get to hide the pink sea snake under the kelpy forest.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "typical of a cetacean"

          "A few moments thought would suggest that given the upper half of a mermaid is mammalian (often abundantly so), it makes sense that the lower half should share mammalian traits as well. So instead of all that nonsense of squirting a cloud of eggs out, the lower half of a mermaid would share traits with a whale or possibly a shark."

          A shark being a "fish" of course and not a mammal...

          1. Thomas 4

            Re: "typical of a cetacean"

            A good catch AC and as always I thank the El Reg Comment Crew for pointing out a minor technicality as the basis for tossing an entire argument out of the window.

            The point I was trying to make is that both whales and sharks undergo underwater docking procedures when they mate. But hey, when the mermaids finally take over the world, I'll be happy to inform them that you're ok with just wanking yourself into the open ocean while the rest of us work on the building of mermaid-human hybrids.

  6. WonkoTheSane

    Disney to file lawsuit in 3...2...1...

    Noone wins but the lawyers!

  7. tkioz

    America stop trying to out crazy Japan! You'll never win unless you stop being such prudes.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Futa bondage mermaids?

      ....well, better not.

      On second thoughts, it would be easier to get the tentacles into the storyline.

  8. D@v3


    I thought it had been fairly widely agreed that the location / origin of the 'bloop' was R'lyeh. But, I suppose that would be a reasonable place to find some kind of HalfSomething, halfSomethingelse type creatures...

  9. Zombie Womble

    No evidence of Mermaids.

    Proves there is a conspiracy to cover up all the evidence.

    So if they are covering up the evidence then Mermaids must be real.

    Or something....

  10. Martin 47

    There are no mermaids, because the dragons ate them all

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But there are trolls

      I've seen evidence of their work in many a forum..

  11. Some Beggar

    Oh dear.

    It's looking more and more likely that that one night stand in Robin Hood's bay was actually a seal.

  12. The Serpent

    Holly: What's happening, dudes?

    Cat: We're having a really nice time. I'm dating Marilyn Monroe and also I have another girlfriend who's a mermaid. She's half woman, half fish. Hey, it's Miranda - my girlfriend!

    Holly: Somehow I'd imagined she'd be a woman on top and a fish on the bottom.

    Cat: No, that's the stupid way round!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    And next thing they'll try to make us think that selchies don't exist either.

  14. I Am Spartacus
    Black Helicopters

    Oh Dear, Lester

    "Presumably, this was part of a Cold War experiment to fuse Area 51 alien DNA with mermaid material, thereby creating a superstrong aquatic biological weapon which could be trained to swim towards Russian warships with explosives strapped to its nose."

    You have just released details of the US new secret weapon. You could only have discovered this by breaking in to at least 100 web sites. You must have caused at least a quadtrillion dollars worth of damage on the way AND leaked secrets to a foreign power. I fear extradition papers are even as I write this on their way to the US Legal Representative (aka, Theresa May) for her to rubber stamp.

    Nice to have known you.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The Do Exist...

    I was out with a Mermaid last week end, how else do you explain the smell?

    1. Some Beggar

      Re: The Do Exist...

      You're a misogynist with poor personal hygiene who goes into a panic sweat when confronted by women?

    2. Graham Bartlett

      Re: The Do Exist...

      Dunno, but the white stuff on your moustache suggests you've blown a seal...

  16. John H Woods Silver badge

    Great Big Sea

  17. sisk

    One question...

    What lunatic imagination made the leap from sonar surveys killing off whales and the Bloop to 'Mermaids are real'? That's got to be one of the most absurd leaps of (dis)logic I've ever seen.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    If merpeople /would/ exist...

    Then I think they'd be much better off if they never came into contact with our "civilization" for reasons well shown in the past. Just take a look at what happened to 'surprisingly' discovered African tribes, then ask yourself how they got discovered in the first place. And finally the part hardly anyone cares about: ask yourself how they're doing now; usually "persuaded" to move to another location because obviously; there was a good reason they were where they were, and we want to have, errr, 'share' that as well.

    note: Mermaids? Sure, nice fantasy; but when talking about a whole species wouldn't "merpeople" or such be a better suited description? ;-)

    1. Graham Bartlett

      Re: If merpeople /would/ exist...

      You're assuming they're not vastly more powerful than us and just tolerating our existence for as long as we don't cause them problems. Read "The Jennifer Morgue"...

  19. Avatar of They
    Thumb Up

    Is it April?

    Land of the free, home of the retarded. As in teh definietion - to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.

    And in this case the 'mental' development of Americans.

    I blame it all on FOX TV, you have all seen FOX TV right? FOX news where nothing is actually real or based on fact.

    But the UK has the same % of morons, they think TOWIE is entertaining.

  20. Dick Pountain

    Sexy Beasts

    It concludes that the question of why mermaids "occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples" is "best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists".

    And sexologists surely

  21. Piloti

    Gabon and Congo

    I worked in Gabon and Congo [B, not DRC / Zaire] for the best part of two years. During that time I heard many reports of reports of people seeing mermaids.

    It is part of African culture, certinaly central and eastern, from Gabon Congo through to Kenya and Tanzania. The "stories" are repeated and retold, and, much like we have ghosts and goblins, there are a sizable number of people who do "believe".

    I was working with a couple of Kenyans in COngo and they told me that you should never have sex with a beautiful woman, becuase she could turn into a fish!

    The logic was never really explained, they could not explain /how/ she would do this, but they did /believe/.

    Funny old world 'eh!

  22. Cubical Drone

    ...government of the people, by the people...

    Stories like this during an election year just fills me with so much confidence about the direction of the US I just may burst!

  23. Cubical Drone

    Oh, and one more thing...

    Just to make sure I have this straight. Moon landing, not a chance, must be fake. Mermaids existing, totally believable.

    1. Piloti
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oh, and one more thing...

      .... and there in lay the logic of people......

  24. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    After a few months at sea, even a manatee looks pretty good to some people. Why spoil their fantasy?

  25. notIvy431


    Doesn't seem like the trolls even watched the show. Well I watched it, and yes, there is fantasy in the show, the same way the shows about what alien type residents there may be on other plants from some scientific theory they have. Speculation on what the sounds they heard. The underwater sea linguist specialist said they were unknown sounds that had an intelligent pattern, thousands of individual sounds. What bothers me is the NOAH scientists recorded these sounds after not being able to find out what the government was doing with all their equipment on the beach, and when reporting their findings they were fired. The other part that has me curious was fishermen in deep waters finding spears of freshly speared fish. I am not sure what the government was trying to cover up, but have a feeling it had nothing to do with Mermaid/half human type creatures, but the facts of the destruction they did to the marine life after their sonic detonations. They are planning on a lot more of this recently and this will harm and destroy a lot of marine mammals and possibly other aquatic creatures. To the trolls on here how about posting something a little more intelligent than bonking a mermaid, LOL

  26. jake Silver badge

    And it's not even Friday ... Ta, ElReg :-)

    The ignorance of TheGreatUnwashed[tm] really blows my mind sometimes.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: And it's not even Friday ... Ta, ElReg :-)

      I disagree, I think we are now very knowledgeable about the great unwashed

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: And it's not even Friday ... Ta, ElReg :-)

        Knowledgeable, yes. But it still blows my mind that people are so intentionally, willfully & even stubbornly ignorant.

  27. Kharkov

    What? They're saying mermaids aren't real?

    Nonsense! Why, back in the late 80's, when I was a paladin operating out of Waterdeep on Toril with my wizard & cleric pals, my key informant on pirate activities was a beautiful red-haired mermaid!

    It was a long time ago now but I remember it so it must be true...

  28. Chris Sake

    It's a conspiracy

    based on the image that led to this scholarly article:

    (It probably would be of benefit to understand the reddit tagging scheme.)

  29. mhenriday

    Did those mermaids - and mermen, I piously hope -

    have a special cabin on the Ark, or were they towed ?...


    PS : And what about Esther Williams ? And wet T-shirts ? Has the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also denied their existence ? These chaps are destroying my childhood and youth !...

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